UFC 303: Alexander Volkanovski '100 per cent' keen to replace ...

5 Jun 2024

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UFC 303 - Figure 1
Photo The Independent

Alexander Volkanovski has said he would step in to save the UFC 303 main event if Conor McGregor or Michael Chandler were to withdraw.

McGregor vs Chandler is scheduled to headline in Las Vegas on 29 June, but fears have arisen this week that the bout might be cancelled.

Concerns have grown since Monday’s press conference in Dublin was cancelled on the day of the event, while ESPN+ has seemingly removed the pay-per-view link for UFC 303. Furthermore, the UFC removed its recently uploaded YouTube videos of past McGregor fights, and Chandler hinted that he had left his training camp.

Volkanovski has form for fighting on late notice, having challenged Islam Makhachev for the lightweight title in October, replacing Charles Oliveira when the Brazilian suffered a cut over his eye. Volkanovski, who was featherweight champion at the time, lost via first-round head kick – after losing to Makhachev on points six months earlier.

Yet the October defeat has not deterred Vokanovski, 35, from volunteering to step in on short notice.

“I mean something like that,” the Australian told Submission Radio on Tuesday (4 June). “I reckon 100 per cent. As long as it’s a big fight; I wouldn’t just take any fight, because like you said, that’s a big deal. 

“Save the day as well, I feel like I love just saving the day. I’m just that good of a guy. If I have to save the day, I’ll save the day.

“Obviously [I’d] get paid well for it as well, but you never know. I was just mucking around with that, I don’t even know... There’s probably nothing even happening, it’s probably just a couple of little hiccups, and everyone’s blowing it out of proportion.

“But I’ll just have fun and throw my name out there for a bit of a laugh.”

After losing to Makhachev for the second time, Volkanovski dropped the featherweight belt to Ilia Topuria in January. The Australian lost via second-round knockout, as his four-year title reign came to an end.

Volkanovski is eyeing a rematch with Topuria, though the new champion has welcomed a title defence against Max Holloway.

Holloway was champion before losing the belt to Volkanovski, who outpointed the Hawaiian twice more thereafter. Most recently Holloway knocked out Justin Gaethje at lightweight in April, winning the ‘Baddest Motherf****r’ belt.

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